John Monroe Deal Letter - 15 May 1893

Contributed by Karen Cotter.

15 May 1893

Mr. Frier and cousin Martha and family (I don't know if it's another version of the name Fryer or if this person just can't spell) (There are names in this letter and some of them are spelled wrong to my estimation. But he can write and some people in those days couldn't)

Dear cousins. I will write you all a few lines more. Friar (different spelling than the salutation) I received your letter the 15 and was glad to hear from you all but way sorrow to hear of you getting dripled (I think it's crippled by not sure). Friar I have put on a new pen so I can write you the general news. I am coming out there this fall and we will have a good time. I am going to bring a little change with me. Well Friar this leaves us all well at present and hope it will find you all the same. Frier you wanted to know what Clod Moss and Henry Meridith fell out about. Here is the way of it. Charly McDermit has got a little old store at July Millard mill and Clod Moss and Henry Meridith, Jim Moore and two or three more was drinking bitters a little after dark and Hand and Jim Moore had a few words between each other and Clod Moss took up for Jim. Clod struck at Hank with his knife but did not hurt him. Then Charly McDermit caught Clod and held him and Hank picked up his gun and started home. Then Charly McDermitt turned Clod Moss loose and Clodd run on to Hank and both of them went out of doors fighting. Jim Moore and Tom Meridith went out after Clod and Jim caught Hank's gun while Jim and Hank were tussling over the gun then was when Clod cut Hank so bad. Tom Meridith would have killed Jim Moore but just as Tom pulled the trigger Rush Woods throwed his finger under the hammer of the Winchester. You see Tom and Hank (Meridith) had been squirrel hunting that day and come back by the store. Tom had a 38 Winchester and Hank had a breechloading shotgun. After Hank was cut he fell then. Jim (Moore) and Clod Moss took Tom's gun away from him. Clod Moss then went and got a horse from Will Chavers and rode back to the store and rode up to the door and Tom sitting there over his dead brother Hank. He jumped and shot Clod Moss with both barrels but did not hurt him, hit the horse that Clod was on. Every one was gone when Clod came back but Tom was sitting there over his dead brother. After Hank was cut he finally got back in the house but did not live but a few minutes. He mostly bled to death. One of his jugular veins was cut in too well. Friar hoping I will see you some time and tell you all about it. Uncle Jim Meredith is sick now. When he gets well he is going to put out a reward for Clod Moss. Then I will write you again and you can make a stake by catching im. Well Friar when I come to see you all, then I will tell you all about it. You wanted to know about the Wheel Store. McHowell has bought out the wheel store. Owns it by himself. Now he don't keep much n hand in it. George Roberts is still in his old store at Lacy (now Lacey). Jene ľackery is selling good in the old grocery at Lacy. Old man McDonnel has got him a little store at Lacy. That is all I believe. D. R. Ham's (Hans?) wife is dead. She died last summer with slow fever. Ham is still in Lacy. Old man Bob Redy is dead. He died two weeks ago with pneumonia. Albert Mc--- is dead. Died last summer with bowel complaint. Tom Lewis is dead, died last summer with brain fever. Miss Bevis is still running her little store. Old man Afallen (sp) is dead, died last winter with pnuemonia. Jeff Haynes is dead. George Wells killed him last summer was a year ago. Killed Jeff in Monticello while Jeff was marshall in town. Old Judge Hayes is dead, died last fall and Bob Bakker killed Ka Haynes. Hasn't never caught Bob yet. Jim Fally married Helen Spencer and she died with a cancer on her breast last fall. Old Billy Woods died with his cancer.

Friar, Uncle Meredith is living on his prairie place and Hub Adcock on his old place. Hank (Meredith) was living on the place he got from you when he got killed. Frank Fergas on you (land) now got wasons land. Frank is dead, died two years ago. Friar, brother Jim's wife you know married old man Lee. He is dead. He died two months ago with slow fever. Frank Fergeson widow married another man in Lincoln County by name of (looks like Mirs) that are living where Frank lived when he got killed. Uncle Meredith was on the byoh (bayou) when Hand got killed they kept Hank out of the ground four days waiting for Uncle Meredith to come back be he didn't getback in time to see Hank. It liked to killed old Uncle Jim when he got back. He has been sick every since and very bad but is getting better. Now he says he is going to have Clod Moss. Friar, Uncle Meredith is going to put out a reward (as soon as he gets well) and of course the Governor will double it but I cannot tell you in this letter how much it will be but you can make it if you will try. I will tell you in the next letter what county Clod come from in Texas and I expect he is there and you can get the sheriff there and catch him easy. He is a daring rascal. What I wish I could been there to help Hank in the fight. It will rub Jim mightly clost to get out of it. Some people think Jim Moore helped Clod to kill Hank but it was dark you know and they belive Jim helped Clod. They buried Hank at the old family grave yard. I am farming on the Pery place this year. Well Friar dear old fried goods by to you all. Write soon and I will answer the letter. Written by your friend. John Monroe Deal, Lacy, Drew County, Arkansas.

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Karen Groce /
Last updated 12 Apr 2010